GENESEO – The truck driver who slammed into Geneseo’s iconic bear fountain Thursday morning was on his way to deliver milk to Geneseo Central School on a route that he drives every day.
Geneseo Police are still trying to determine what made Thursday’s trip so different.
“The driver had injuries to the ribs and shoulder, and some bruising,” said Geneseo Police Chief Eric Osganian. “We are still investigating. We can say that we had no evidence that the driver was intoxicated.”
The truck was headed north on Main Street when it struck the fountain on its eastern side, facing Center Street, at about 6:07 a.m.
The impact knocked the fountain’s granite ‘bowl’ off of its base, tipped the granite pedestal, and knocked the bronze bear, ‘Emmeline’ into the hole below. Village crews took Emmeline and her pedestal to the Department of Public Works building, where they will stay until restoration experts can examine them. Tow trucks dragged the bowl back onto its base.
No water was flowing to the fountain when the accident occurred. The water had been shut off for the winter.
The bear fountain has never been damaged this badly in its 127 year history.
“Rolling up on this scene leaves you speechless,” said Osganian. “I’ve seen the fountain struck before but never like this.”
The fountain, built in 1888, represents Geneseo for residents, historians and SUNY Geneseo alumni alike. The Association for the Preservation of Geneseo has vowed to restore the fountain with complete historical accuracy.